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It’s St. Patty’s Day! Where’s All the Irish Craft Beer?

Photo credits - http://beer-ligion.com

Seriously, what am I supposed to drink?  Is the only way for me to enjoy (“enjoy” being a very key word) an Irish style ale to drink one that was brewed here in America?  This can’t be right.

I think almost everyone thinks of Guinness first and foremost when they ponder Irish beer.  Oh the power of advertising.  This just in – Guinness is gross!  If it wasn’t for the fact that very few beers are poured on nitro in this country, Guinness would have absolutely no legs to stand on.  It’s crazy thin and flavorless.  Ok, maybe the fact that it just barely has more calories than water may appeal to some, but I highly doubt there are many craft beer aficionados out there that choose how they spend their beer money based on calories.  It’s flavor that we want and Guinness has none.

What else do we have?

Both Murphy’s and Beamish are superior to Guinness when it comes to Irish stouts, but I don’t even know if they are distributed in Seattle.  I don’t remember seeing them.  Murphy’s is owned by The Netherlands based Heineken anyway, so I don’t know… are they still considered Irish?

I don’t even feel the need to discuss Harp, Smithwichs, Killians, etc.  They are mass marketed atrocities existing only in the murky underbelly of where big business marketing meets fizzy yellow “beer”.  No thanks.

So again I probe, where’s the Irish craft beer?

Apparently it does exist, we just don’t see it.  Back in 2005, Ireland enacted a new bill that gave tax breaks to small breweries.  Since then, several have popped up, very few of which are currently big enough to distribute out to us here on the West Coast of the U.S.

I have seen a few kegs of Porterhouse hit the Seattle market lately, but they may have been samples from the distributor or something because that seemed to be a one and done thing.  Unfortunately I was unable to sample.

My research led me to a great source – www.irishcraftbrewer.com.  They are stewards of the scene and have a great directory of craft breweries. I’ve used their site and a few others to compile a nearly complete list of Irish craft breweries.  Keep your eyes and ears peeled for these guys and let’s hope that we see them in the states in due time.

Franciscan Well

Hilden Brewery (technically Northern Ireland)

Galway Hooker (amazing site, a must visit)

College Green

White Gypsy

Messrs Maguire

Barrelhead Brewery

Dungarvan Brewing

Trouble Brewing

Bay Brewery

Beoir Chorca Dhuibhne,

Carlow Brewery (Ohara’s)

Clanconnel Brewing Company

Inishmacsaint Brewing Company

Metalman

Whitewater Brewing Co.

Stangford Lough Brewing Co.

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